|— StarClan welcoming Leafstar as the leader of SkyClan in Firestar's Quest, page 499|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter thirty five of Firestar's Quest. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 35 (of 36)
- Page Numbers: 485-499
- Firestar, Leafdapple, and Echosong stand on the Skyrock, and the ginger tom says to close their eyes. Leafdapple shifts restlessly, but eventually grows still and cold, and the wind dies away. Firestar opens his eyes to find bleak moorland stretching around him. Echosong raises her head, stretching, and asks where they are. She adds that it's like the place she saw when she previously slept on the Skyrock. The ginger leader explains that they're in the place where he saw the fleeing SkyClan members. The medicine cat turns to Leafdapple, who is lying still, and places a paw on the she-cat, but she still doesn't move. Echosong asks Firestar if she's dead; he reassures the gray tabby that she's fine, and her old life is being stripped away so she can receive her nine lives. Leafdapple awakes with a sneeze, springing to her paws and staggering a little. She asks the ginger tom what's happening, and he explains that she will meet with StarClan here.
- Cloudstar appears, meowing a greeting. Echosong returns the gesture, her eyes shining, for this is the first time she has stood face-to-face with a StarClan warrior. Firestar pads forward to meet him, asking if Leafdapple is the cat they were looking for. The ancient SkyClan leader confirms this, thanking the ginger cat for his help in rebuilding his Clan. Taking a deep breath, the ThunderClan tom asks how the brown-and-cream she-cat will receive her nine lives if Cloudstar is the only one there. The patched tom takes a step towards Leafdapple, asking if she believes in what will happen next. She replies that she thinks so, and that she believes Firestar when he says she'll receive nine lives. Sadness passes across Cloudstar's face, and he tells her he'll be giving her the first life. Bowing his head, the tom touches noses with Leafdapple, but she flinches away, then moves her head back to him. He announces that his life is for endurance, and the she-cat's body begins to spasm, her jaw open in a silent wail of agony. Firestar feels a pang of sympathy as he remembers his own ceremony. Echosong asks if it hurts and if they can help her, but the ginger tom shakes his head.
- Leafdapple, trembling, asks Firestar if she has to do that eight more times. He comforts her, explaining that each life will come with a different sensation. She resents that he never told her it would be like this, yet she shakes her head with mingled astonishment and wonder. The ginger tom tells her the ceremony won't be long. Echosong suddenly whirls around, exclaiming for her companions to look. A row of cats emerge from the fog, circling the living cats until one figure steps out. It is Skywatcher, but not as the scrawny elder he had died as. He appears as a strong, powerful warrior instead. The tom gives Leafdapple a life for hope; the she-cat tenses as it rushes through her, but she recovers much quicker than before. She thanks him for everything he has done, but Skywatcher doesn't reply, he just steps back among the starry warriors.
- A third cat appears, and she is noted to bear a striking resemblance to Leafdapple. She touches noses with the mottled tabby; it is not to give a life, but rather to show affection. Leafdapple recognizes the she-cat as her mother, exclaiming that she thought she'd never see her again after her death. She gives her daughter a life for love; it causes the pale tabby's limbs to go rigid, and she holds back a screech of pain. Firestar is sent back to his own ceremony again, remembering the pain he felt when Brindleface gave him a life for the love a mother has for her kits. Leafdapple's mother covers her daughter's face and ears with loving licks before stepping back to let another cat give a life.
- As the fourth cat steps forward, Firestar recognizes its scent, but didn't expect to find it here. As it steps from the mist it is revealed to be Spottedleaf, and she touches noses with the ginger tom. She congratulates him on rebuilding SkyClan, saying that it means so much to her for it to be restored. The tortoiseshell approaches Leafdapple and gives her a life for healing wounds caused by words and rivalry. Rather than hurting the brown-and-cream she-cat, this life causes her to let out a blissful purr. She thanks Spottedleaf, adding that Firestar had said so much about her, and it was an honor to meet her. The mist around them begins to thin, and the moonlight becomes stronger. More cats are revealed, stretching far into the distance, and a shiver runs through Firestar. Echosong, pressing against the ginger tom, whispers that SkyClan is coming home. Four cats emerge into the center of the circle, and he thinks they look vaguely familiar, but he doesn't recognize them. Rather than approaching Leafdapple, they turn to Cloudstar, who gasps the name Redstar.
- Redstar stands, head bowed, in front of the SkyClan ancestor, apologizing on behalf of ThunderClan for driving SkyClan out. Firestar realizes these are the leaders responsible for driving SkyClan out of the forest. Next, a tabby named Birchstar, who reminds Firestar of Heavystep and Clovertail, apologizes for RiverClan turning the starving Clan away. A third cat, Swiftstar of WindClan, admits that what they did was wrong. A cream she-cat steps forward and apologizes on behalf of ShadowClan, stating that the Clans had good reasons for what they did, but she regrets the suffering they caused them. Cloudstar, calling the fourth cat Dawnstar, thanks the four leaders. Redstar goes on to say that they can never make up for what they did, but they have come to give lives to the newest leader of SkyClan. The tom steps forward, giving Leafdapple a life for wisdom. Birchstar gives her a life for sympathy, and the she-cat has barely any time to recover before Swiftstar gives her a life for selflessness. Last is Dawnstar; Firestar is astonished that such a graceful cat could become ShadowClan's leader. She gives Leafdapple a life for determination, causing her legs to shake, and her breathing becomes heavy. The brown-and-cream she-cat thanks the leaders, saying that SkyClan will always hold their Clans in honor.
- The four leaders thank Firestar, each explaining how they thought that they had to drive SkyClan away for the sake of their own Clans, but were tortured by the guilt of what they had done for the rest of their lives. They admit that there should've always been five Clans in the forest. The ginger tom is unable to reply, as when he first learned of SkyClan's past, he had always blamed the other leaders. Now, he realizes that they were just like him, making hard decisions to keep their Clanmates safe. He murmurs that he'll never forget them, and Redstar tells him that it's time for him to return to his home. The leaders step back among the other cats who gave Leafdapple lives, looking around for the ninth. Firestar's belly clenches as he wonders where the ninth cat could be. A breeze begins to tear the mist into ragged strands, revealing moorland stretching vastly into the darkness. Echosong murmurs for him to come quickly as the cats part to form a straight path over the moor. At the end is a single point of light, and Firestar realizes it's a cat, steadily drawing closer as it races with its belly fur brushing the ground. Cloudstar steps forward, his eyes showing a hunger that symbolizes moons of starvation.
- The she-cat enters the circle; she's a beautiful light brown tabby, and her green eyes are fixed intently on Cloudstar. She pads up to him and lightly touches her nose to his, and he whispers her name: Birdflight. The SkyClan ancestor exclaims that he can't believe she's here, and she replies that they'll walk to skies together forever from now on. After a few moments, Birdflight beckons for two other cats to come closer, and they dip their heads to Cloudstar. She reveals that they are his children, Spottedpelt and Gorseclaw, and that they grew up in ThunderClan, but have chosen to walk these skies with her. Firestar compares Spottedpelt's appearance to Spottedleaf, and Gorseclaw's to Tigerstar. He wonders if SkyClan blood runs in ThunderClan, and if Spottedleaf and Tigerstar are descended from Cloudstar. The ginger tom spots the tortoiseshell she-cat staring happily at the cats in the circle, and his suspicions are confirmed.
- Cloudstar, his legs stiff with shock, takes a pace toward his children, explaining how he vowed that his Clan would forget StarClan, how they would never look to the stars again. His gaze travels from Birdflight and his children, to Firestar and Leafdapple, and he adds that that was until now. Birdflight touches noses with Leafdapple, giving her a life for faithfulness. Another cat emerges from the ranks of starry cats and introduces herself as Fawnstep. She pads up to Echosong, explaining how she was the SkyClan medicine cat when they fled from their home in the forest. The she-cat tells the gray tabby that her warrior ancestors have chosen her to be SkyClan's medicine cat from now on. Echosong begins to thank her, but Fawnstep silences her by whisking her tail over the she-cat's mouth. The brown tabby tells her that they'll walk far together, and Echosong promises that she'll be ready for their next meeting.
- Leafdapple asks Firestar in a hoarse whisper what's going to happen next. The last of the mist dissolves, revealing a full moon and stars blazing out as more SkyClan ancestors return to walk these skies. The ginger tom recognizes Rainfur among them, and the gray tom dips his head. Firestar walks over to him, apologizing and saying that if he hadn't joined SkyClan, he'd still be alive. The flecked tom replies that it was his own choice, and the warrior code is worth dying for. Rainfur then hesitantly asks how Petalnose and their kits are. Firestar responds that they're grieving, but the Clan is supporting them. The gray tom says he trusts SkyClan to look after them, dipping his head again; the ginger leader feels as though he's been forgiven.
- All of the starry cats stand up, chanting Leafstar's new name in welcome. Firestar and Echosong join in, and the light around them becomes dazzling. The ginger tom blinks open his eyes to find himself back on the Skyrock. Leafstar stands up, thanking Firestar; she begins to say something, but can't seem to find the words. Echosong brushes brushes her pelt against her flank and buries her muzzle in her new leader's shoulder fur. The ginger tom warns her to never speak of the ceremony, to which Leafstar replies that there aren't even words. She shakes her head, promising to be a strong and loyal leader to her Clan. She gives her pelt a shake, saying that they should head down, for the rest of the Clan will be waiting.
|Leafstar's Leader Ceremony|
|Reference: Firestar's Quest, pages 487-497|
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 485
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 486
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 488
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 489
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 490
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 491
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 492
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 495
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 496
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 497
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 498
|Firestar's Quest chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Chapter 36 • Epilogue|
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